Home » Nissan’s Refusal To Bring Us Hybrids Is Biting It In The Butt

Nissan’s Refusal To Bring Us Hybrids Is Biting It In The Butt

Nissan Xtrail Hybrid
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While I often try to bring a unique angle and perspective to the automotive news of the day, sometimes it’s important to repeat myself for those in the back of the class who maybe didn’t catch me the first 19 times. Ahem, Mr. Nissan, just a reminder that America wants hybrids and you have none of them for sale here. Zero!

That’s right, I’m going to be talking about Nissan’s global earnings report, which seems somewhat decent until you see how well Honda is doing!

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

I’ll then swing back around to the West Coast where Waymo is now under investigation for an incident with a bicyclist. And, finally, I want to talk about debt and auto loan delinquencies.

What an exciting Thursday! Wait, it’s Thursday already?

Nissan Isn’t Exactly Thriving In A Post-Pandemic Environment

No Good Car Ideas
Source: Netflix

When I wrote about Trimflation last year I focused on pickup trucks because it was the easiest way, in my mind, to try to track the phenomenon. But it wasn’t just trucks and it wasn’t just domestic automakers.

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Looking back on Nissan’s recent North American results, it’s pretty clear that the company also benefitted from empty dealer lots as a way to squeeze margins out of higher-trim vehicles. Every time I see a Rock Creek Pathfinder that’s a couple of years old I wonder… is that what this person absolutely intended to buy? How much over MSRP did someone pay for a Rock Creek Pathfinder?

Overall, Nissan is still doing fine. The company, like many Japanese companies, is on a fiscal year that ends in March; through the first three quarters of the year the company saw an increase in both revenue and income.

The third quarter (October-December) of 2023 was a little rockier, though, especially in North America where operating income was down about 57% to $227 million according to the company’s latest report.

Sales in the United States were actually up about 5.6% at the end of 2023, but Nissan’s sales were much lower than Honda (33%) and Toyota (15%) during the same period, and overall lagged the market.

Automotive News has a good review of what’s going on and points out that one of Nissan’s key internal financial measures, net revenue per unit, showed a 6% slide in the United States (which means Nissan is not making as much money for every car it sells). AN‘s Hans Griemel listened in on the earnings call and captured a key piece here:

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“The high interest rate inflation is hampering affordability for the customer,” CFO Stephen Ma said Thursday while announcing financial results for the fiscal third quarter. “So, we are focused on making sure we bring the right vehicles, in the right segments to customers.”

And what might those products be? Certainly not the dull Nissan Ariya or aging Nissan Leaf.

“We are now studying what we can do for the U.S. market,” he said. “So, stay tuned. We will come back with some answer on what we can do with a hybrid in the U.S.”

He Admit It

As Greimel points out, Nissan already sells the X-Trail (our Rogue) in other markets with a hybrid system called e-Power. It’s, uh, not perfect, but it’s something:

I’ve found Nissan’s whole product lineup pretty mediocre as of late, though I need to drive some more products. The new Pathfinder does look intriguing and the Nissan Rogue continues to be a popular and relatively affordable crossover.

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Nissan also deserves credit for building actual cars, including the theoretically sub-$20k Nissan Versa.

(If you don’t get the image references they’re from this).

Honda Has Hybrids, Is Killing It

2025 Honda Civic Hybrid
2025 Honda Civic Hybrid

I already touched on Honda’s January sales, which were definitely buoyed by the availability of hybrids. Now we’ve got hard numbers from Honda and the company is forecasting a full-year profit (also ending in March like Nissan) of 1.25 trillion yen, or $8.4 billion, up about 4% from its original estimate.

In the third fiscal quarter (October-December), overall operating profits rose about 35%, which was definitely helped by a 33% year-over-year sales increase for the United States.

There are a lot of factors here. Hybrids are a big one as they do tend to command a premium over non-hybrid vehicles. Honda’s product mix is also great, and every vehicle in every segment is at least competitive, with maybe the exception of the Ridgeline (which I nevertheless really like).

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Honda was also hard-hit by the pandemic chip shortage and some of this growth is just a result of normalizing production, or as the company’s CFO Eiji Fujimura put it:

Firm demand in the United States as well as a production recovery in Japan led to an increase in unit sales and overall results which exceeded the results of the same period last fiscal year.

To quote the great KRS-ONE: A real thug is a thug that’s hush.

California DMV Reviewing Latest Waymo Crash With Cyclist

Waymo Autonomous Jaguar
Source: Waymo

Robotaxis, like regular taxis, keep having accidents and incidents in California. The latest, per Reuters, involves a Google Waymo robotaxi and a cyclist in San Francisco:

Waymo said its vehicle was at a complete stop at a four-way intersection when a large truck turned into the intersection. At its turn to proceed, the Waymo car moved forward.
However, the cyclist was behind the truck and not visible as they crossed into the Waymo vehicle’s path. When the cyclist was fully visible, the Waymo’s vehicle braked heavily, but wasn’t able to avoid the collision, the company said.

The cyclist wasn’t seriously injured and didn’t go to the hospital. This sounds like an accident that could have happened to anyone. and Waymo has probably learned the Cruise lesson that forthrightness with the media and investigators is the only logical way to respond.

As a reminder, David rode in a Waymo robotaxi and had a good experience.

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Auto Delinquencies Are On The Rise

Loanorigination

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is out with its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit and, unsurprisingly, auto delinquencies are on the rise.

“Credit card and auto loan transitions into delinquency are still rising above pre-pandemic levels,” said Wilbert van der Klaauw, economic research advisor at the New York Fed. “This signals increased financial stress, especially among younger and lower-income households.”

There’s an accompanying blog post that goes into great detail about this that’s a fun read (I mean, as fun as reading about this dreary topic can be), but none of this will be a surprise to regular The Morning Dump readers as I’ve already touched on the particularly bad loan vintages that started popping up during the pandemic as buyers paid over sticker for cars.

From the New York Fed’s blog post:

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Motor vehicles saw some of the most pronounced and persistent price increases during the pandemic inflationary episode, as supply chains and chip shortages limited production. During this spell, auto loan balances ballooned. The average origination amount—that is, the borrowing amount of a car loan—had crept up slowly between 2015 and 2020 at a pace of under one percent each year, reaching about $18,000 in the first quarter of 2020. But when car prices soared in 2021 and 2022, the average amount of newly originated auto loans jumped up as well, by 11 percent through 2021 and another 10 percent in 2022. By the end of 2022, the average origination amount on auto loans was nearly $24,000.

Obviously, trimflation also comes into play here, though it wasn’t called about by name.

If there’s any good news here it’s that the average dollar amount of newly originated loans is starting to go down.

What I’m Listening To As I Write TMD

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs! and their impossible-impossible-to-avoid-at-coffee-shops-near-college-campuses-in-the early-aughts “Fever To Tell” and all-time banger “Maps.” My friend Miriam used to sing this song to me all the time and it took us a couple of years to realize it’s because she thought Karen O was singing “MATT” and not “MAPS.” I was a Geography major, so I just thought she was always serenading me because I really liked maps.

The Big Question

Does Nissan have any car ideas? Why don’t we rank Nissan vehicles in their respective segments, and you can tell me how competitive you think they are:

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  • Leaf
  • Ariya
  • Pathfinder
  • Rogue
  • Kicks
  • Murano
  • Armada
  • Versa
  • Sentra
  • Altima
  • Maxima
  • Frontier
  • Titan/Titan XD
  • Nissan Z
  • GT-R

What do you think?

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Juanmi82
Juanmi82
18 days ago

From all the things that I expected to see today, an embedded km77 video on the Autopian was NOT one of them.

MEK
MEK
19 days ago
  • Leaf – iPhone 6S in a 15 Pro world.
  • Ariya -Will almost certainly disappear into the growing mid-size EV-SUV void of slow selling “too-expensive”, “where-can-I-charge-this”, “I-need-5000-miles-of-range-to-eve-consider-an-electric”.
  • Pathfinder – Somewhat competitive but the name recognition it used to have is still marred by the last psudo-minivan iteration.
  • Rogue – Keeping Nissan alive in the US.
  • Kicks – please no, don’t make me.
  • Murano – Zzzzzz.
  • Armada – Why would anyone consider this over the Sequoia, Tahoe… basically anything else in this price range?
  • Versa – Last man standing in this price range. Go Nissan.
  • Sentra – Also-ran.
  • Altima – Generic but serviceable.
  • Maxima – Why do they still sell this?
  • Frontier – Better than the Ranger but not up to the new Tacoma, not even close.
  • Titan/Titan XD – I though this was dead?
  • Nissan Z – Great, if you can find one that’s not going for $15k over sticker.
  • GT-R – Dinosaur, a fast one, but still.
CivoLee
CivoLee
20 days ago

Truth be told, I always thought “Maps” was by far the weakest track on Fever to Tell…and of course it not only becomes their biggest hit but also the group’s signature song, which just goes to show how out of step with contemporary music I was at the time, even stuff that was considered “underground”.

But in all honest I did see the album as whole as being a bit overrated and the band is one I can take or leave, so yeah.

Last edited 20 days ago by CivoLee
Jim Zavist
Jim Zavist
20 days ago

The Nissan Frontier is both competitive and a bit unique in continuing to offer an extended cab in this segment. (Not everyone wants or needs a crew cab.)

JDE
JDE
20 days ago
Reply to  Jim Zavist

I was just going to say, the new frontier is competitively priced and overall quite nice. in a world where cars are going away, the only thing they could maybe do is make a rogue into a Maverick fighter, and then offer the 25K hybrid version. Maybe and eCVT will be better than the regular Nissan CVT’s? certainly they cannot be any worse. Those CVT’s are literally the reason why pretty much all small Suv’s and cars from this brand are dead to me and my family.

Nick Fortes
Nick Fortes
20 days ago

Nissan’s SUVs need the super boxy redesign like Toyota/Lexus and Hyundai have done. Really lean into the OG Pathfinder retro look. Give it that boxy chamfered hood with 3 slots. Maybe a triangle shaped window (aft of the c-pillar since we know they won’t offer a 2-door). A tailgate which can fully open or just the glass. Base model with steelies, higher levels with those funky block alloys but in modern sizing. Nissan lettering on the tailgate and in the grille (no logo). It’s a license to print money.

Captain Zoll
Captain Zoll
19 days ago
Reply to  Nick Fortes

most importantly, put an actual chassis underneath it rather than the maxima’s platform.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
20 days ago

As an old guy I remember the financial market in the 70s and 80s. I am sure some racism was involved but banks didn’t loan money to people who couldn’t afford to make payments and loan sharks were only mob affiliates. But then liberal democrats, not all democrats, claimed it was illegal, immoral, racist, sexist, misogynistic, and illegal notvto loan more money to poor people than they could afford to pay back. Then money was loaned to poor people that they couldn’t pay back and we had financial balloons popping all over the place. Since the government forced bad loans they bailed out the banks, not really the poor people were set free of the bad loans because tax payers paid for the bail outs. And yes we also pay for every football, baseball. Basketball, and hockey stadium.

Lincoln Clown Car
Lincoln Clown Car
20 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

No, banks discovered poor people are way more profitable than rich people and acted accordingly. Nice try, though.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
20 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

“And yes we also pay for every football, baseball. Basketball, and hockey stadium”

And whose to blame for that? Not me!

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
19 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Damn politicians.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
19 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

You misspelled voters.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
19 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Nope because everyone pays voters or not. In PA wevoted down the last referendum but politicians ignored the vote and spent the money raised the taxes and we have 3 new stadiums for 3 mediocre teams.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
19 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I can tell you students are partly responsible for the enormous increases in tuition because they voted for silly arenas, rec centers, and other crazy expensive projects to be paid for by subsequent generations. I was there, I voted against it all but it was made clear my fellow voters had the power so they took it.

One sports center really missed me off. They had replaced the energy efficient whiteboards with about 8 giant $$$$ power hungry plasma screen TVs. This was just before the California power crisis of the early 2000s. The whole campus was quickly becoming a big middle finger to future generations both in high tuition for non education reasons and energy squandering.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
19 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Yes California is a big old middle finger to the tax paying populace. I moved out after a few years. Funny if the voters had voted Republican just once in awhile it probably would not have gotten so bad.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
19 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

We did. My Ph.D. was autographed by the Governator himself.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
19 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Republican or Hollywood stars? REAGAN then Arnold, watching some of his flicks now, needed a few more.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
19 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Governer. His signature is on my diploma.

As for Reagan…

https://i0.wp.com/obrag.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Ronald-Reagan-recall-cartoon.gif?resize=500%2C730&ssl=1

Every time a vote comes I give our California Republican candidates a fair and balanced look. Sometimes I even vote for them.

Most of the time though their insane hard-ons for an extreme far right Christian theocracy or lasses faire get rid of government attitude is just too crazy.

Last edited 19 days ago by Cheap Bastard
Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
19 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I’m not saying they need Togo Republicans all the time just often enough to keep the democrats worried about their autocratic authority. Now they do what they want because no fear of losing their almost 100% power grab

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
19 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I have no problem considering a Republican as long as the candidate isn’t batshit crazy. Unfortunately almost all of the Republican options on my ballots are. If the party wants my vote they need to knock it off with the crazy extremes and give me saner moderates.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
19 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Yeah they have some interesting candidates. I guess the normal ones no they can’t wi .

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
19 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Well you can’t win if you don’t play. The nutters only serve to make the party look bad.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
19 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

True but got to say California does have the lock on nuts. I’m surprised they stick out. They split it into 2 states yet?

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
19 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

There are nutjobs everywhere. Jan 6th 2021 proved that.

Mr. Fusion
Mr. Fusion
20 days ago

I have been seeking a 3-row CUV with decent interior room but not too big on the outside, and Pathfinder ended up at the top of the list due to its combination of dimensions, price, and features. And Rock Creek is actually a pretty reasonably priced package, seemingly more so than competing cars with more modestly-named packages.

I haven’t pulled the trigger because Cars Are Expensive, and I kind of need that money right now. But if my situation demanded it, then Pathfinder would get my first look.

Nissan is really blowing it on the rest of the lineup, though. The VC engine situation in the Rogue sounds dire, the Murano is ancient, and the cars are…there, I guess.

The Frontier is perplexing. Nissan is downright insane for the sticker prices on those things. I think if they would just own-up to the fact that it’s an old truck, and price it accordingly, then they would sell the crap out of them. The pricing should not be at parity with the Tacoma or Colorado, it should be many thousands less.

Andrew Daisuke
Andrew Daisuke
20 days ago

I have yet to see a new Pathfinder in real life.

Jeremy Aber
Jeremy Aber
20 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Daisuke

I see a ton of them, but I do live right next to Nissan’s US headquarters. They look so much better than the previous styling.

Andrew Daisuke
Andrew Daisuke
20 days ago
Reply to  Jeremy Aber

I live in Seattle, so I guess it’s not that surprising, but still seems weird. There’s also no Explorers here, but hooooo boy, there’s a 4Runner on every other block.

David Strausz
David Strausz
20 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Daisuke

Hey I live in Seattle too and have only seen a few. It’s a good looking rig, and probably will be a great buy on the used market.

Geoffrey Reuther
Geoffrey Reuther
16 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Daisuke

Must be a convergence zone thing, because up in Snohomish County, we’ve got Explorers galore. And of course most of them are black or dark gray, so at night we get to play “Is that a cop or a soccer mom?”

Random Username
Random Username
20 days ago

“Rock Creek Pathfinder”

That’s a perfect name for a trim package on an SUV that will never go off-road: it sounds like it was named after a suburban neighborhood or shopping mall.

Next up, the Ford Explorer Deer Pointe Gardens Edition.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
20 days ago

I’m looking forward to seeing whether the inevitable crossover SUV from the new DeLorean motor company has a “Lone Pine” edition or a “Twin Pines” edition – that way I’ll be able to tell which timeline we’re in.

Turtle Racer
Turtle Racer
20 days ago

If Nissan left the US, no one would notice. If they want to stay, maybe the best bet is to dump the entire line – maybe keeping the GT-R and a reworked Z – and rebrand as Datsun with an operating mantra of, “Never make a boring vehicle – regardless of the segment.”

Mike G.
Mike G.
20 days ago
Reply to  Turtle Racer

Uber and Lyft drivers would notice. Where else can they get a 0-down 84-month loan on an inexpensive car to beat the crap out of making pennies (maybe) driving the rest of us around?

Mike G.
Mike G.
20 days ago
Reply to  Mike G.

and maybe the rental agencies that buy whatever the Lyft and Uber drivers do not.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
20 days ago

Not interested in talking about Nissan. But I love the ITYSL and Maps references today!

Jj
Jj
20 days ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

I’m doing the best at this.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
20 days ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

New slogan to sum up this site: “Yeah guys…there’s motorcycles.”

Technosaur
Technosaur
20 days ago

I miss Nissan. Of course they have always had their crossovers, but to me they were always The JDM Performance brand, with the amazing VQ engine, the Z, the Skyline/G35, and Godzilla/GT-R. I had a 2005 G35 sedan with a 6spd and that thing could *scoot*, although it did consume an alarming amount of oil. I used to be a fan but I hate to say I don’t see them coming back from this one.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
20 days ago

I forget Nissan (and Infiniti) still sell cars here. They’ve just been average or worse for so long. My dollars can do better than a Nissan.

Apparently someone working at a Nissan dealer got the wrong phone number from a potential customer, so they have called my work phone 50 times in the past 2 weeks. 7 times last weekend.

I decided to check their inventory. They still sell the Armada? The Murano looks…the same as always too. Heavy on Rogues. No Z’s (seen maybe 1 since they were released). 3.5% APR on 75 month loans!

Strangek
Strangek
20 days ago

I’m always annoyed when I get to the rental counter and they hand me the keys to an Altima.

Dolsh
Dolsh
20 days ago

I’m pretty certain it has been Nissan’s refusal to do any sort of actual product planning that is nipping them in the butt.

4WD overlanding vehicles going bonkers in the market? Let’s kill the X-Terra and turn the Pathfinder into a soft CUV even though we already have a soft CUV in the Murano.

Premium sports sedans are the sedans that are still making money? Let’s turn the Maxima into a CVT gimped shell of it’s former self and confuse Altima buyers.

Premium manual sports cars selling quite well? Let’s ditch the manual on the Nismo Z and give Supra fanboys something to brag about.

If I was to change up their line-up a bit…

Kicks -> Rogue -> Murano are their CUV’s
Versa -> Sentra -> Altima are their Sedans (and frankly could all be killed).
Frontier is their truck.
Add PHEV/EV versions of the above. Lean into your brand names instead of confusing the shit out of people! WTF is an Ariya? How is that pronounced?

Bring back the X-Terra.
Pathfinder returns to it’s RWD roots and offers a unibody alternative to an X-Terra, can compete with Explorer and other RWD SUV’s.
Fire the Armada into the Sun.

Z stays, no CVT’s allowed. Manuals across all trims.

GT-R – Update it already!

Maxima – New 4-door sports car based on whatever the next GT-R is. The GT-R had Porsche owners sweating at one time. Nissan can do the same for BMW M sedan owners.

EzPz. Should only cost about $20B to do.

Kasey
Kasey
20 days ago

Remember the Altima hybrid? I know it was using Toyota hybrid tech but they shouldn’t have completely discontinued it. I’m sure they could’ve adapted electric motors from the Leaf or done something for a second generation of it.

Brockstar
Brockstar
20 days ago

Nissan is like Santa Clause. I want to believe in them! They used to know how to have some fun. But like that kid that had way too much fun in high school, and didn’t grow up. Maybe Nissan needs an OnlyFans account to generate some extra cash.

Alexk98
Alexk98
20 days ago
  • Leaf – BOTTOM of the cheap EV Class (only passive-cooled battery in US means it will never be anything more than an OK lease deal)
  • Ariya – Meh, maybe mid pack? this class is a terrible value and filled with unfortunate first-gen EVs that are all awful buys long term but OK leases
  • Pathfinder – Bottom Third probably, competition has stepped up as of late.
  • Rogue – Mid pack, but every year falls behind as the class grows stronger, good value play I guess
  • Kicks – With new Trax out, its better than the Venue and that’s about it.
  • Murano – Lol, last, this thing is ancient and I forgot its on sale still
  • Armada – See: Murano
  • Versa – decent for the money, top of class given the class is almost gone in the US
  • Sentra – Mid pack to low end? just so meh, but cheap!
  • Altima – Decent value play, maybe mid pack over all
  • Maxima – Yikes and RIP (very soon)
  • Frontier – Already near the bottom, Colorado and nearing Tacoma are both more compelling, surely beats outgoing ranger though
  • Titan/Titan XD – lol last
  • Nissan Z – If you’re a Z person, peak, otherwise, get a Supra or Cayman
  • GT-R – See: Z

Moral of the story, they may be bottom of their classes, but at least you’ll get financing!

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
20 days ago
Reply to  Alexk98

I disagree that the Leaf having passively cooled batteries is a big deal. The early cars had problems with battery degradation, but the batteries used since 2015 have held up well. I see many 2015 and 2016 Leafs for sale with 10 bars or more (>80% of original battery capacity), and very few with less than 8 (~ 66% or original capacity). Leaf batteries won’t last as long as Tesla batteries, but they should still offer at least 10 years of useful service life.

I still wouldn’t buy a new Leaf due to the relatively low range and CHAdeMO port, but used Leafs can be a great deal for the right buyer.

Last edited 20 days ago by Stig's Cousin
Alexk98
Alexk98
20 days ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

I’d argue that’s still a fairly large amount of degradation relative to other EVs, even early model S battery packs seem to be in the ~10% degradation range after 125k miles and even more years than Leafs which will only display up to >80%, and based on the thermal cycling those batteries will be put through over the years, I think its safe to assume they won’t last the same kind of mileage as any other similarly priced EV that has a liquid cooled pack, which nowadays is all of them.

Granted, I have no data to compare against, but from what I have seen around online, it does seem that Bolts hold far closer to 90%+ over the same amount of time and mileage that will see a leaf of similar vintage fall below 80%, but I’d be very interested to see if there are studies out there.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
20 days ago
Reply to  Alexk98

I don’t dispute that Leaf batteries will degrade more than batteries in other EVs (I have seen data that shows the oldest Bolts retaining 92-94% of their original capacity, so 90% after 10 years or 125k miles seems reasonable). Data for the Leaf suggests a modern Leaf battery should retain at minimum 70+% of its charge after a similar time frame, and a typical vehicle should be 80+%. I don’t think the gap in battery degradation is so enormous that a Leaf should be avoided for that reason. To me, it is like the difference between buying a Hyundai vs a Toyota. A Toyota will last longer, but a Hyundai is still going to last a long time.

Also, given the increasing popularity of EVs, I suspect there will be alternatives to expensive battery replacements (aftermarket batteries, options to replace individual cells, used batteries from wrecked vehicles, etc.) in the next few years. I doubt most modern Leafs will end up in the scrap yard solely due to battery degradation attributable to passive cooling.

Alexk98
Alexk98
19 days ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

Ok that’s a much better degradation curve than I had realized with newer generation leafs, and your point on general reliability vs top of the industry is really fair. I guess my argument was more “if you’re buying a new EV, a leaf is a bad value and will depreciate more than others” but they all are tanking in value like crazy, so thats a bit of a moot point.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
20 days ago

I think both Subaru and Nissan going all in on CVTs gave them a false sense of security about not needing hybrids. Standardizing those miserable, soul crushing transmissions across essentially their entire lineups brought their fleet fuel economy up quite a bit…and despite all of the shit a CVT forces you to deal with they ARE more efficient than torque converters.

That can work for a little while, but not forever. Subaru is now panic adding hybrids to their lineup, presumably borrowing the powertrains from Toyota. Nissan would be wise to do the same. Honda and Toyota understood the damn assignment and have hybrid options in essentially all of their volume sellers. Hell, Hyundai did too.

The Elantra? Santa Fe? Tucson/Sportage? Sonata? All available as hybrids. Give the people what they want. I find it puzzling that this technology has been around for a quarter of a century and so many manufacturers just threw it out the window for some reason.

David Strausz
David Strausz
20 days ago

The only problem I have with CVT’s is that the manufacturers have put dumb fake shift points in them. They are so worried about this bullsh**, which I don’t think most people care about. They just know the right pedal makes the car go, the left one makes it stop. A little droning or whatever, I don’t think most people will notice. I blame the automotive press for this.

Needles Balloon
Needles Balloon
20 days ago

I think that Subaru didn’t go for hybrids and instead chose to put lethargic engines in their entire lineup to achieve their CAFE numbers. The fact that AWD cars get bonuses for CAFE calculations and their fuel economy is good considering their AWDness also helps. I think that Subaru doesn’t really have the R&D budget to develop hybrids outside of the Crosstrek, so they’re just holding out for Toyota to give them something like the Solterra. Considering Subaru prices themselves as a budget option, while also having a powertrain that I suspect is more expensive than it should be (boxer engines have double the cylinder heads & cams and block height compared to a I4, Subaru’s uses a ‘real’ AWD system, though CVTs are cheap I heard), they might not have as much margin to engineer or price a hybrid powertrain.

Nissan over the past decade has been neglected quite a bit, so going for the cheap option of CVTs definitely would’ve made sense to them. Also, they’ve successfully relied on the Leaf to boost their CAFE ratings, but probably didn’t foresee the Ariya being a flop due to it getting delayed by the pandemic and the pre-NACS EV slump. Their volume sellers like the Rogue get very good EPA ratings with its VC 3-cylinder, so their situation isn’t too urgent if they can move enough Ariyas for the time being.

Aaron
Aaron
20 days ago

Honda’s product mix is also great, and every vehicle in every segment is at least competitive, with maybe the exception of the Ridgeline

Hey now! According to Car Figures, the Ridgeline outsold Ranger, Colorado, Canyon (don’t combine those…), Frontier and Gladiator in Q3 & Q4 2023! And it’s the only midsize truck to see sustained YOY growth every year since 2020! Sure, it’s not putting up the *checks notes* 200k+ annual sales the Tacoma does, but who else is even close?

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
20 days ago
Reply to  Aaron

Ridgeline Gang is a small but passionate bunch. I feel like every time I see it mentioned in car blogs there are always people loudly singing its praises.

Andrew Daisuke
Andrew Daisuke
20 days ago

Have a ’19 Black Edition. I love the damn thing.

Parsko
Parsko
20 days ago

Never Nissan, long live Honda.

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